Amherst Life Blog

Welcome to the Amherst Life Blog! Here we will be posting information on activities, events, arts, community concerns, local business, and a variety of other topics related to life in Amherst, Massachusetts. If you are new to the area and looking for housing, please check out our other blog too ------------>> Amherst Housing Blog ::.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Unemployed, Depressed Ph.D.: My Education is Getting in My Way

We have a hard time sympathizing with people who dedicate their lives to research and writing yet can't seem to figure out that universities are basically factories that do not care about the folks on the assembly line unless they bring the university prestige and money. Humanities: unless you are Noam Chomsky, forget about it. Lowest on the assembly line. They are cutting entire language and literature programs daily.

Yet... the number of people we know who are walking around with advanced degrees in the humanities, unemployed, is staggering. We are now collecting stories from these people who are basically saying that entry-level they are only eligible for entry-level positions yet entry-level positions won't hire them.

Check out this guy's story:

"I write to vent. Nothing more. Do you know what it means to work at $12,000-14,000/yr in Amherst, high rent, high cost of living, for five years, while defending myself from a university that took away my outside merit-based grants because they said I didn't have financial "need" (UMASS said this to me as they handed me one of 1000 tiny sheets of paper with the address of the localsoup kitchen) to earn the highest degree possible in my field after dealing with horrific committee interference with my development as a human being, while being a grad student teacher--the folks that run the UMass campus and actaully care about their students... Yes, all of this.... to then graduate and loate academia so thoroughly that I want a non-teaching job even though I won teaching awards... yes... I continue... to the apply to study abroad programs because I believe in the power of study abroad to help transform students' experiences... to be then harassed and questioned, and have my recommnders contacted MULTIPLE times by some insane director at the University of Miami... a lady who told them she thought I was using her for transitory work even after she questioned me over 15 times, hous on the phone, hours of skype interview, demanding answers about using her office as a stepping stone... to then speak badly about my candidacy to my recommenders.... I had to write this email to her...

And now I have to say, I'm angry that offices like this can be run so horribly and I think parents should know their kids have absolutely no organizational structure behind them, and the type of people running these programs are insane... So I found the UMiami provosts information and may even write to him."

Our reader withdrew his candidacy with an email that we have urged him to publish on his own. It is so critical of the state of study abroad and the way administrators are abusing their power that it deserves its own blog.


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